Showing posts with the label sleep

Friday Features

It's the return of Friday Features!  Lately, I've been seeing more and more articles promoting some research findings that I've been living by for a while. Vindication! Love having a quick link to send to my friends, family, and YOU that unearths and explains some important science that impacts your life.

"Light emitting e-readers detrimentally shift circadian clock" The American Association for the Advancement of Science recaps a research study's findings about the negative impact of e-readers' light on participants sleep quantity and quality, as well as their alertness and functioning the following day!!

Yet another publication has caught up to the times:
"Nutritional experts say it's time to stop fearing fat."
The article as a whole is tentative, as the title indicates
by placing responsibility on the "nutritional experts."
It goes back and forth, asking expert after expert about their take
on a recent research study.  Some advice…

Block Out Blue Light at Night!

I had a lovely day off today, but now it's back to work... back to bed!

Maybe you already set a bedtime alarmor take the time to shut down before bed, but maybe you slipped back into old ways.  Maybe you have so much work to do that by the time you're done on your computer, you're ready to crash and don't have time to "unwind" before you drift off to sleep!  Does that mean you're doomed to reap the consequences of evening blue light exposure?  Not at all!  There are a few ways you can block out blue light to help you achieve a good night's sleep.

First of all, why do we care about blue light?

Our bodies know well that daylight is "awake" time, and that darkness means time to sleep and recover for the next day.

According to the Harvard Health Letter (May 2013),blue wavelengths help boost attention and reaction times (great for during the day), but also serves to powerfully suppress melatonin--the sleep hormone.  It makes sense that our melat…

Set a Bedtime Alarm

How often do you become so engrossed in a task--whether work or play--that you suddenly realize it's way later than you intended to go to bed?  Where did the evening go?  Now you've only got six, five... four(?!?) hours to sleep, and no time to unwind properly?

I've spoken before about the importance of shutting down electronics before bed, but if you want to have time to shut down and begin to wind down for sleep, you've got to recognize that it's bedtime 30 to 60 minutes before you actually intend to sleep!

For this reason, I often keep a "bedtime alarm" set, so that on weeknights, my phone will remind me, "Hey, it's almost ten o'clock; you might want to finish what you're doing and start getting washed up and ready for bed." In case you were wondering, my bedtime alarm sound is crickets. Thank you, iPhone.

This is my little trick to make sure I get my eight hours in. It may seem silly, but why?  It's just a friendly (self-imp…

Friday Features

TGIF!  Today we've got a variety of topics, so take your pick -- they're ALL insightful and informative. Enjoy and educate! 
Mark Sisson asks, "Are You As Healthy As You Think You Are?"
Dare you to go beyond "better" in comparison to others and shoot for your own BEST.

Think you know what you're eating?  Think again!   Fox uncovers some scary truths in "19 Foods That Aren't Foods."
In a similar vein, BuzzFeed highlights eight foods and ingredients
that we eat here in the U.S., but are banned in other countries.
Learn more by clicking here!  (Why oh why oh WHY hasn't this caught on here??)

Remember when we learned about proper posture?  There's a lot more where that came from! Check out these 15 Blogs Informing You How to Improve Posture in You and Your Kids.
This moving TED Talk by Peter Attia urges us to question our
long-held assumptions, following this surgeon's lead as he overturns his own

Sleep to Perform

It's a well-known fact that quality sleep is important, and it's also all too well known that it can be hard to come by.  FitFluential knows that quality SLEEP is one of the cornerstones of a healthy life; it affects everything we do for the remainder of our day!  But how many of us actually get a good night's sleep, every night?  Busy schedules, psychological stress, physical discomfort, and blue-light technologies all get in the way of a deep, quality sleep.

So what can we do to remedy the problem?  We can try setting a strict bedtime, eating nutritiously, enjoying 15 minutes of sunlight during the day, orshutting down electronics... but there's only so much we can do if our body is not comfortable.

When I wake up in the night to shift positions, or suffer through my morning with noticeable neck pain, I know something's not right.  Unfortunately, these are were common occurrences for me, and such disrupted sleep patterns left me tired, cranky, and in pain.


Stay Healthy

It's Freeky Friday! My friend Amanda helps host this weekly summer blog series, with different prompts for us all to ponder and share about!  She explains the background here, and you can see some of the past prompts and her posts here

This week's prompt:
How do you stay healthy?
Excellent question!  I'm so glad you asked.

Really, the way I stay healthy happens to be through the four tenets of FitFluential, the main areas underlying everything we do: EAT, SLEEP, MOVE, ENJOY

EAT: I nourish my body by eating plenty of vegetables, fruit, fish, and real foods.  I (mostly) avoid eating foods that I know are harmful or that make me feel lousy.  I try to stay cognizant of the connections between my foods and my physical health, so I can eat to promote my own health and longevity.

... and might I add, DRINK.  Water, that is.  Anyone who knows me know I drink water like I breathe oxygen.  With meals, on the go, and while working.   Always have a glass or bottle by my side.  Without…

June Check-in

It's July 1, and the heat is here to prove it.  Time to look back on my #FitFluentialJune Goals to see how I did.

But first, I want to thank you all for your feedback and entries on my 100th Post Giveaway!  I'll definitely try to incorporate more of your favorites. :)  Selected by he Giveaway WINNERS are 63, 14, and 29, so that's...
     (1) Jen
     (2) Lindsay
     (3) Laura
Congratulations, ladies!  And thank you to ALL who entered and shared their favorite types of posts.  Hope you all are ready for some GOAL recapping, because here's how June went down...


#MOVE: Run a(nother) 5k ... (A-)

This, I did!  My goal was to work my way back up to a comfortable, no-walking breaks three (point-one) mile run.  The testing point would be Toni'sWelcome to Summer Virtual Run.  I was pretty good about sneaking runs in, even just a mile or two before a yoga or weights workout.  I also did tons of interval work on the treadmill (like this), which I enjoy b…

Set June Goals

Don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY here! Hi.
My blogging, running, and general 'me-time' activities have all fallen to the wayside these past few weeks.  Ever since #FitBlogNYC and meeting Bob Harper, I've been a busy, BUSY girl.  May has flown by and suddenly it's JUNE!

I had really high hopes for theRW Summer Running Streak, but timing is everything.  Only a few days in, I had a constant sharp pain running down the back/outside of my left calf, not only when running but also when walking, or merely sitting but turning my ankle from side to side.  Not good.  I ran on it a few days into the challenge, but then the BF (former cross country runner and voice I trust in everything) warned me to take a few days off of it.  FIIIINE.  I did.  I did some light elliptical work just to feel like I was moving, but did not run or put pressure on it.

... and it's feeling much better!  The pain seems to have completely vanished, so I look forward to starting  up my running …

Shut Down (again) and TGIM: Snack Smarter

Alright, friends, it's been a week!
(Don't forget: POPCHIPS GIVEAWAY!  Last few days to enter: CLICK HERE!)
Did you fulfill last week's dare to shut down before bed?  How did it go for you?  Did you find it difficult to fit in time, did you enjoy the half or whole hour of peace before slipping into sleep?

If you were unable to give it a go, please give it a try!  It makes such a difference, really.  Do not forget to prioritize sleep!  You can read more about the fundamentals of sleep at FitFluential.  Balanced Bites also discuss how bright lights after the sun goes down can negatively influence your metabolism.  So try making your 7-9 hours a habit--a priority--and aim to get 30-60 minutes of technology-free downtime before bed. Let your brain ease into the darkness, let your body understand that it's nighttime, and let your mind become free of the stresses that distract it from relaxing.

That's what I'm about to do. I'm about to crawl into bed (later than …

Makeover Your Mindset: TGI-Monday !

TGI-Monday!  Sure, it's late Monday night... Tuesday by the time you read this, I know.  Just bear with me.

But first...  Be sure you entered the PopChips giveaway!  Three lucky readers get a month's assorted supply, so enter here!

NOW, back to why we're being thankful for Monday:  This morning after uploading my own post, I read a thoughtful piece by Angela at Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat, in which she challenges (yayy) us to treat each Monday like New Year's Day, to start fresh, to say that this will be a good day, a good week, and to make plans to ensure as much.

She suggests selecting a focus for the week, and to take steps toward that focus all week long.  Specifically, each Monday, she (and I) will declare...

One main focus for the week, which may or may not change from week to week,Two things I'm going to do as part of the focus to make my week better, andThree benefits I'm going to see/feel/experience as a result of these positive actions.(Quoted from Angela.)…

Shut Down

Switch off your cell. Table your tablet. Close your computer.

( WAAAAAAIT!!!! Read this post first, please. )

It's 10 pm... 11... 12. How can your brain power down at night if your electronics are still buzzing and bright until the latest possible moment before your head hits the pillow? Studies have shown it takes time for the effects of the light rays to wear off, those light rays that keep your brain active and awake.

This week, I dare you to pick a "shut down" time, at minimum, 30 minutes before bed. Make it 60 for bonus points. After that time, give your mind and body time to relax before bed. Read a book, talk to your family, tidy up your room, wash and brush, etc. Do anything that does not require an on/off button. Even better still, make sure the 'off' electronics are not leaving hints of light in your room! Best to sleep in complete darkness.

Personally, I find folding and putting away laundry strangely relaxing. Write a (pen and paper) to-do list…